Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who me, jealous?

Okay, I'll admit it, from time to time I get a little green-eyed, green-skinned jealousy thing going when I hear my writer friends talk about their latest book deal or contest win. Not that I'm not extremely happy for them....as a struggling writer, I know how tough breaking in is....but for crying out loud why can't it be me??? WAH!

Okay, I'm over it. More or less.

Now, there's nothing wrong with getting jealous. It's a natural human emotion. But how you handle that emotion is what matters. My jealousy over not getting my work sold (just yet) only makes me want to work harder to see that it happens. But, it seems that some people will use their jealousy to sabotage someone's chances at making it in the publishing world. Case in point--I entered a writing contest at Gather.com. It's a first chapter romance contest which is also sponsored by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books Imprint. The winner of this contest will get a guarenteed publishing contract. Now, normally I won't enter contests because I don't do well in them. Mainly because I don't write by *category* rules. But I figured, since this contest is going to be voted on by the public....much like American Idol type voting....I would have a better chance. Plus, I really wanted to know how my novel would fare in the public (non-writer) eye.

Now, as a contestant, we're more or less required to read/rate/ comment on the other entries, which is not a problem. And a lot of these entries are from new writers....several of whom haven't quite learned the *craft*, but they have such an interesting story premise, that you really want to know how the book is going to turn out. So, when I read, I read as both a reader and a writer. And when I comment, I give as much feedback as I can to help them *fix* the problems I saw.

Now, every writer knows how subjective writing is, so you take to heart what comments your given and if they work for you, great. If not....throw them out. The problem is, although these writers say they want honest feedback, what they actually mean is, "tell me I'm wonderful!" And if you have the unmitigated gall to tell them something in their story needs work (for instance stop with the prologues that have nothing to do with the story, and the background information that can be weaved in, and the over-telling exposition!!!) then they get defensive and tell you, you don't know what you're talking about or you just don't get it. Then, they'll stop by your entry and rate you a 1 out of 10 stars to make it look like your story sucks. It's ridiculous, really. I mean, I don't even presume to think my story is the best one there....because I've read a select few of the stories that left me feeling like a hack. But I DO believe my story should be in the top ten and I'm not alone in my thinking. I've had published authors email me and tell me how great the chapter is, how it should move onto the next level, how it's the best of the bunch. But with the petty jealousy of the other contestants and their friends, I'll be lucky to make it to the next round.

Okay...sorry, this turned into a rant.

Anyway....if you'd like to know for yourself if I'm worthy of moving to the next round or perhaps even being published, then stop by and read my chapter DARK OBSESSION. And, if you enjoy the chapter and want to see me as a finalist, then vote/rate me a ten...because when they tally the votes, they will only count the tens.

Voting ends Tuesday September 18 and the finalists will be announced the following Monday, September 24. One more thing, you will have to register at Gather.com in order for your vote to count.

Thank you in advance to those who drop by.

And, if you're wondering what my novel is about, here is a brief description:
Ray Chavez has just been given a foreboding message by his long deceased great-grandmother. But Ray, a 33 year old farmer from the Rio Grande Valley, does not believe in visions or omens or the necromancy of his Mexican/Indian heritage. Although, Ray feels he's doing his part by humoring his sister Sylvia, a practicing Spiritualist, and his grandmother Maria, a non-practicing Curandera, he ultimately dismisses the vision as a bad dream.

However Ray may reconsider his position when Lexie Solis stumbles into town, in search of a new life. Ray feels an instant attraction, as well as a connection, to the skittish young woman, and he pursues a relationship with her. But what Lexie does not tell Ray and his family, is that she is running from an abusive ex-boyfriend and he may be more powerful then even she wants to believe.When Lexie is assaulted by an unseen force, they soon learn that Jerry Kemp's obsession with Lexie goes beyond his need to control her; he wants to possess her soul as well. Lexie's only hope for salvation lies with Ray. But will he be able to embrace his destiny to save the woman he loves as well as his own soul?

3 comments:

B. K. Birch said...

Good luck with the contest Terri. You certainly deserve to be in the top ten. Hopefully the folks at Gather.com will do the right thing.

I blogged about the jealousy thing too and I hear ya loud and clear. Your time's coming sweetie, just hang in there.

PS - thanks for finally updating your blog ;)

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

I'm anxiously awaiting an announcement about the First Chapter's contest on Monday. I'm sending good vibes and warm thoughts your way.

Terri said...

Thank you so much ladies! I adore you both!! MUAH!

i don't know how the contest will turn out, but I'm very happy my story has been so well received. Hopefully, if I make the next round, my second chapter will be just as intriguing. =)

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